Drought drives 2,000 Somalis into Dadaab refugee camp

In New York

The ongoing drought has driven at least 2,000 Somalis across the border into Dadaab camp in recent months, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said.

“Preliminary information suggests that more may be on their way,” the international aid agency added in an update on the response to drought in Somalia.

Close to 100 of the new arrivals in Dadaab were among the refugees who returned to Somalia from the camps as part of a voluntary repatriation plan.

“Drought-related displacement continues to rise almost exponentially,” the UNHCR added.

More than 500,000 Somalis have been forced from their homes since November, with 52 per cent of the displacement occurring in the past month.

A mass movement of hungry and thirsty Somalis into Dadaab would threaten to stall or even reverse the progress made in the last two years in voluntarily repatriating refugees.


Nearly 60,000 have returned home from Dadaab since the start of the programme in December 2014.

According to the UN, 20,515 Dadaab residents have been supported in returning to Somalia this year while 21,940 are registered for voluntary repatriation. The total population of the Dadaab complex stood at 256,192 as of March 15.

Kenya had threatened to shut down Dadaab camps next month, citing security concerns but the court blocked the move.

UNHCR has been conducting “go-and-see” visits in which selected groups of Dadaab residents travel to Kismayo and Baidoa for a few days to see if the situation allows them to return home.

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